How We Wrecked the Ocean – Ecologist Jeremy Jackson Spells It Out

Jeremy Jackson calls himself a tropical ecologist. He has spent decades studying marine habitats. He is one of the foremost experts on coral reefs in the world. And he knows his geologic history too.

The picture he paints of the current state of our oceans, and where they are heading, is anything but pleasant or comforting.

“…In the final analysis, the thing we really need to fix is ourselves. It’s not about the fish; It’s not about the pollution; it’s not about the climate change. It’s about us, and our greed and our need for growth and our inability to imagine a world which is different from the selfish world we live in today.” (Jeremy Jackson, ecologist, TED Talks 2010)

In this talk, Jackson continuously returns to the three major factors that are dramatically altering our oceans: over-fishing, pollution, and climate change. These factors do not arise and operate in isolation, but rather, they feed back into each other and “synergize” to make for a major, impending, ecological disaster.

The articulate Jackson (known for his trenchant analogies to get his points across) covers a wide range of issues, with topics including: the role of biological pollution (caused by land run-off of nitrogen-rich soil due to over-use of fertilizers), the growing phenomenon of marine “dead zones (which are anoxic, or hypoxic, water columns in the sea), the failure of the ocean’s overturning circulation due to warming and the role of positive feedback loops in marine systems.

Want to know more about Jeremy Jackson? Check out his TED bio page.

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